India joins G-4 countries in call to UNSC reform

India joins G-4 countries in call to UNSC reform

India and other G-4 countries have reaffirmed the need for an early reform of the UN Security Council, including the expansion of both the permanent and non-permanent categories of membership, to enhance the world body’s legitimacy, effectiveness, and representation.

The current composition of the Security Council does not reflect the changed global realities and a reform was essential to address today’s complex challenges, they said in a statement adopted at the end of their meeting in New York on the margins of the UN General Assembly.

The meeting held in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, September 25th, hosted by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, was attended by Brazil Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes Ferreira, German Foreign minister Heiko Maas, and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono.

Hours after U.S President Donald Trump pilloried multilateralism in this address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the meeting called by India declared: “The G-4 Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to multilateralism. G-4 Ministers stressed that adapting the United Nations to the contemporary needs of the 21st century necessarily required reforming the Security Council.”

Given the American disinterest in the UN and other multilateral bodies, China, one of the five permanent members of the UNSC, has slowed down the move to expand the body, according to diplomats tracking the process. The U.S. has no active opposition to the demand of these four countries to be included as permanent members of the UNSC, but the Trump administration has taken a benign approach to the reform.

In his speech, Trump attacked the UN Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court. “America is governed by Americans. We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism,” Trump said in the speech that made sweeping accusations against multilateral institutions.

G-4 ministers noted that despite an overwhelming majority of UN member states supporting Security Council reform, the negotiations launched in 2009 have not produced substantive progress over the 10 years. “The G-4 Ministers emphasized the need to revitalize process of the Security Council reform, and they tasked their respective officials to consider the way forward to advance the reform,” the statement said.

While there is no active American support for reform Trump’s call for other countries to step up and share the responsibility of managing the UN might support the reform, even in the face of active Chinese opposition, according to an official. Germany and Japan contribute one fifth of the UN budget while the four countries together have one fifth of the world population. The ministers agreed that the “current composition of the UNSC does not reflect the changed global realities and they stressed that Security Council reform is essential to address today’s complex challenges.” They “reiterated their commitment to work to strengthen the functioning of the UN and the global multilateral order as well as their support for each other’s candidatures,” the statement said.

They reiterated their commitment to working with other countries to realise the shared vision of the overwhelming majority supporting the initiation of text-based negotiations in a democratic and transparent manner. In this regard, the ministers recalled the rules and procedures of the General Assembly and reiterated that the world body takes its decisions in a spirit of compromise and through the methods laid out in the UN Charter.

The Ministers emphasized that the G-4 would intensify dialogue with other member states, especially like-minded countries and groups, to achieve meaningful progress in the upcoming Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) session.

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